7 Grady students recognized as 2022 Multicultural Advertising Intern Program fellows

Seven Grady College students have been selected by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) Foundation to participate as fellows in the 2022 Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP).

These students, along with a group of over 200 of their peers from colleges and universities across the country, are engaging in a 22-week fellowship program that prepares them with the skills and connections they need to build a foundation in the industry. 

“Being selected as a MAIP fellow has been the highlight of my advertising journey thus far,” said Smera Dhal, a third-year Advertising major. “This program emphasizes the unique experiences that shape multicultural students and the significance of their representation in the advertising world.” 

In the spring, MAIP fellows participate in a 12-week virtual training series on topics within the industry, which is geared to prepare them for their 10-week paid summer internships with top agencies across the United States. 

“I’m looking forward to spending the summer gaining hands-on experience with real clients!” said Priya Desai, a fourth-year Advertising major. “I’m especially grateful to the 4A’s Foundation for creating a program that values my diverse experience and champions equity and inclusion throughout the industry.”

Throughout the program, fellows also have the opportunity to learn from a team of over 200 volunteer coaches and participate in advertising workshops and panels. The fellowships are available in over 16 disciplines, including social strategy, copywriting, design, public relations, communications planning and many more. 

“I feel lucky to have found an internship that isn’t just another desk job,” said Midori Jenkins, a second-year Entertainment and Media Studies major. “Additionally, I cannot wait to move to Los Angeles for the summer and will be using this time to maximize networking opportunities and explore the city.”

Since it started in 1973, MAIP has grown a vast and diverse alumni network of more than 4,100 who have come from more than 80 colleges and universities across the United States. Nearly 80 percent of MAIP’s participants are female, and 100 percent are members of minority groups. 

“I am honored to be a MAIP fellow and to contribute to the diversification of predominantly white spaces,” said Dhal. “I hope to see a future where more Indian girls can wholeheartedly and unapologetically pursue their creativity.”

The seven Grady students participating in the program are Priya Desai (SSCG Media Group), Smera Dhal (Digitas Boston), Melissa Flores (Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners), Madison Greer (MSL Group), Midori Jenkins (Ignition Creative), Jocelyn Peña (Sony Music Group) and Heaven Robinson (Saatchi & Saatchi).

#ProfilesOfTenacity: Smera Dhal

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?

Tenacity means bouncing back.

What is your most memorable Grady experience?

Through Grady study abroad, I spent this past summer at the Creative Circus in Atlanta. While the course itself was rather rigorous, I got to spend every day with the most incredible and inspiring creatives. I’m grateful to say many of them are now my buddies here at UGA.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about people! I love getting to know someone new. The best feeling in the world is strengthening your connection with someone you love.

What or who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?

The Cookout on W. Broad Street has kept me going through my darkest hours.

What has been your proudest moment in the past year?

My proudest moment has been being appointed a 2022 MAIP Fellow. This internship program focuses on promoting diversity within the advertising world, and I am so excited to have been placed with the Digitas agency for an Art direction internship this summer!

Dhal (far left) participated in the Creative Circus program in 2021.
What is an example of a time you used your studies and skills in a real-world experience?

Grady introduced me to the professional side of graphic design. This semester, I have begun creating posters, show announcements, and even cover art for local musicians. Check out “On Your Roof” by Evelia on all platforms, artwork by me!

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor, mentor or family member?

When I was learning how to ride a bike, my dad used to tell me “sedha dekho, pedal karo” which in Hindi means “look straight, keep pedaling.” I apply it more metaphorically to my life now, and it keeps me focused.

What are you planning to do after graduation?

Make cool stuff!

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I like to make candles!

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

There’s a bench right outside the Journalism building under the big magnolia tree. It doesn’t jut out, it’s obscured, but it’s got a wide view of Sanford Drive. It’s perfect for anything – eating, studying, people-watching.


#ProfilesOfTenacity: Jane Congfei Lian

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?

For me, tenacity means always staying positive when facing tough circumstances or situations. The most important difference I found between human beings and animals is that we are born to be adaptable. I came to the U.S. two years ago across the Pacific Ocean with two suitcases. Studying abroad during college is like uprooting a tree to an entirely new field. Tough times came, with everything being unfamiliar, strange, unexpected and different from what I used to. However, I always reminded myself why I came here. I tried to build connections with new people, get involved in organizations and learn different cultures. I strived to adapt to the new environment and improve my personal development skills. The biggest takeaways from my college experience is to never be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone, to explore all opportunities and to not underestimate how strongly adaptable we can be. 

What is your most memorable Grady experience?

I have countless memorable Grady experiences. My favorite one was the moment I was awarded the New Media Certificate. Standing on the stage with my fellows and professors, I finally became a certificate alumni. This was the first degree I finished at UGA. This certificate not only proves the skills I’ve learned, but also represents the effort I invested in paving my career path.   

What are you passionate about?

Serving people. I have a strong desire to serve as a bridge for everything I’m working on. In Grady activities, I aim to connect juniors who are pursuing media with people in professional industries. As a world leader for International Student Orientation, I aspire to help them make UGA feel like coming home and to connect cultures. When it comes to serving my clients, I want to help them to build relationships with their target customers. To put it briefly, I believe credibility builds relationships.  

Lian pictured with Women in Media executive board
Lian (front row, right) is the social media manager for Women in Media at UGA.
What or who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?

Serving as the social media manager at Women in Media has left a deep impact throughout my UGA life. WIM’s mission is to motivate creative women in all forms of media. Through WIM, I have learned we can not only grow ourselves, but also help our peers grow. That is true women’s power.  

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I’ve been a big fan of Taylor Swift since I was 10 years old. I have TS on my wall, my clock, my ruler and my blanket at my home in China.

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

The first floor study area near Studio 100 inside Grady. That’s where I spent most of my time to complete my schoolwork. It’s quiet and easy to find a spot. You can see outside from the door and eat snacks from the vending machine when you are hungry. 

What is an example of a time you used your studies and skills in a real-world experience?

Take an example of when I was serving as a Junior Research Strategist in the Talking Dog Agency. Our client JT Hanna is a family run screen-printing business. My job was to craft a survey on Qualtrics in order to help our client gauge the Atlanta market’s awareness as well as customers’ screen printing preferences. Although I have no previous knowledge on using Qualtrics or creating insightful research, I reached out to other colleagues to gain ideas about what questions I should set up in my survey to reach our client’s goal. Finally, I drafted the survey along with another strategist and got 215 responses. This ultimately helped our client to improve their brand position. 

Lian (pictured second from right) is a former Junior Fetch Strategist for Talking Dog.
What are you planning to do after graduation?

I wish I could land on a job or internship with a structured advertising & marketing agency to enhance my skills. My dream job is to be a brand strategist because I believe brand storytelling is the future of marketing. 

What has been your proudest moment in the past year?

Last year I was unable to see my friends or go back home to see my parents. I cannot describe how much I missed home and I cannot see what comes next in the future. But I did not choose to stop, instead, I utilized the gap year to improve my resume, cover letter and portfolio to strengthen myself. I also started to use LinkedIn to build connections with alumni and reach out which helped me find many great school organizations that alumni are involved in. I began to apply to different organizations such as Talking Dog and Women in Media to find opportunities to grow. I couldn’t have reached where I am without the Covid year because it gave me more time to think about what I want to pursue and what skills I should develop to arrive there.   

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor, mentor or family member?

My father has influenced me in many aspects. He is the one who has strongly supported me to study abroad and pursue what I love. “Go and see the big world, and you will find yourself and who you want to be,” he always tells me. “You learn to be critical by immersing yourself in different places and hearing from a variety of people’s perspectives.”  


Alise Crittendon named AAF Most Promising Multicultural Student

Alise Crittendon, an advertising student from Mableton, Ga., has been selected to the American Advertising Federation (AAF) 2022 class of Most Promising Multicultural Students.

“This is one of the biggest honors I’ve received thus far because it represents everything I have been striving for: increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in the media industry,” said Crittendon. “I even wrote about this in my Grady statement of interest two years ago!”

The AAF’s Most Promising Multicultural Student program is part of an initiative to promote diversity in the advertising workplaces. Crittendon will participate in a four-day workshop that will help advance skills, enhance professional development and provide exclusive networking opportunities.

Crittendon and her fellow 49 honorees from around the country were selected by a judging panel featuring representatives from Amazon, The Coca-Cola Company, TikTok, and many more leading advertising organizations.

“We are so proud to add Alise to the UGA Department of Advertising and Public Relations alumni who have been selected to participate in the highly competitive American Advertising Federation Most Promising Students program,” said Bryan Reber, Advertising and Public Relations Department Head.

Crittendon was also selected as a member of the American Association of Advertising Agencies  Multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP) earlier this year.

Crittendon credits Women in Media and Talking Dog as organizations that have helped her grow during her time at Grady College.

Reber says Crittendon has become a superstar student and has grown through mentoring with faculty.

“Special thanks go to faculty who teach and mentor these students as they prepare their portfolios for the competitions,” Reber said. “Dr. Kirsten Strausbaugh has been a special mentor to Alise.”

After graduation, Crittendon plans to join an advertising agency as a copywriter where she would develop campaigns and powerful messaging for brands. She says she found a love for storytelling at Grady College and wants to use that passion to help brands execute strategy with creativity. She also credits her extra-curricular activities with helping her grow into a young professional.

“Women in Media and Talking Dog Agency are both special to me for different reasons, but my involvement in these gave me the confidence and experience I needed to continue working towards my goals,” said Crittendon.

See the full release from the American Advertising Federation here.

You can learn more about Crittendon in this InternViews piece published earlier in 2021.

#ProfilesOfTenacity: Shruti Muruganandan

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study? 

I decided on advertising as my course of study by sheer luck. I came into UGA without a clear idea of what I wanted to pursue and took ADPR 3100 upon the recommendation of my advisor, who suggested it because I was interested in a career that combined creativity with logic and critical thinking. ADPR 3100, or Principles of Advertising, introduced me to the field and to all the limitless bounds of possibilities of creative and strategic work, and I decided then that it was for me.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

My name in Sanskrit means “melody” or “music”. Not surprisingly, music was a huge part of my life growing up – I played the viola, the violin and even a bit of the drums. I was involved in Indian Carnatic singing and was a Bharatanatyam dancer for a while.

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?

To me, tenacity describes someone who has the courage and determination to keep on the path they believe in, irrespective of what others think or do. Choosing the field of advertising often meant that I didn’t have anyone in my immediate community to go to for advice or guidance – I don’t have an aunt, a cousin, or a family friend in the industry that I might look to for assistance. It also meant that, as a woman of color, I don’t see many people who look like me or have a background or upbringing like me in my industry. My perspective is often unique compared to that of my peers, which sometimes leaves me feeling like the odd one out. Being tenacious means that regardless of any challenges I face or setbacks I must deal with, I am determined to stick to my path because I believe that advertising can be meaningful and powerful enough to create an impact and that I am capable of being in and thriving within this field. 

What are you passionate about? 

I really stand by the power of diversity and representation within the field of communications. A mentor once told me that marketing and advertising often serve as mirrors to society. What we choose to advertise and communicate often reflects our image of society and the people that we speak to. Knowing this, I don’t believe that advertising has reached its true potential, as many minorities of different backgrounds and perspectives are not spoken to or celebrated. Advertising has the ability to create and impact human culture and providing and striving for adequate representation in media and advertising benefits all parties involved. Advertisers are inherently storytellers, and it’s vital that the stories we choose to tell are inclusive of all. I’m passionate about this issue because I feel that advertising has the unique power to bring about real change in this world and I hope to help achieve this goal during my lifetime.

Who is your professional hero?

One of my professional inspirations is Anjali Sud, the current CEO of Vimeo. Sud is an Indian-American woman who became CEO of a (somewhat) failing company and spearheaded a bold repositioning of the brand to set itself apart from competitors like YouTube, and eventually, it grew enough to turn a profit and go public on Nasdaq.  I love that Sud wasn’t afraid to back down from a challenge and trusted her vision for the company enough to see it through to success. 

What has been your proudest moment in the past year?

I worked as a Strategy Intern at an advertising agency called Doe-Anderson this past summer through the MAIP program. It was my first time working in an actual agency and I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. Looking back, I had nothing to worry about. My team was super welcoming and supportive, and I was given so many challenging and interesting projects to work on. Toward the end of one of my major projects, which was for a new client the agency had acquired and the first campaign the agency was creating, I received positive feedback from not only my strategy/planning team but also from the creative and account team. I felt so proud of the work I had done in that moment. It made me excited that I had found my calling and inspired me to continue creating meaningful work.

What or who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?

My time with Talking Dog has had a huge impact on my personal and professional life during my time at UGA. I was accepted to work as a project manager when I was a sophomore and was absolutely terrified at the prospect, since I had little to no experience in advertising, let alone project management. I was totally convinced that they had accepted me on accident. However, I recognized that I had been given a great opportunity regardless and that I should take advantage of it, so I worked hard, learned so much about working on a team and with clients, and grew to be more confident and outspoken. I joined the Board of Directors the year after as the Director of Fetch during the pandemic, which presented its own set of challenges. It proved difficult to build connections with new members using only Zoom but Talking Dog cultivates an incredible and inclusive culture of support and encouragement and because of that, we were able to have an incredible year. Talking Dog gets brought up in interviews all the time because of how unique of an opportunity it is for college students, and I’m always so happy to talk about how much I learned from my experience and how much fun I had. Talking Dog is definitely a highlight of my college career!

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor, mentor or family member?

This piece of advice wasn’t given solely to me – I attended the Publicis MCTP conference in 2020 and one of the panels presented in the conference was hosted by Ronnie Dickerson-Stewart, then chief diversity officer of Publicis Group, and Minda Harts, author of The Memo. They shared that “self-advocacy is one of the greatest forms of self-love.” It becomes easy, especially in corporate America, to want to silence your voice because you might feel that you’re just grateful to be here. But, it’s important to understand that people that hire you and want to work with you will seek you out because you have talents and gifts that they want. It’s important to recognize the power you hold and be your biggest supporter in advocating for yourself.

Muruganandan attributes some of her best memories in college to her involvement in Talking Dog.
What is your favorite app or social media channel and why?

I love Twitter! I hardly ever create my own Tweets but I love the community and expression that’s present on that platform. While the jokes on Twitter are incredible, I really like how people can share experiences, have conversations and build a broader community. 

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

North Campus is a lovely place to be, but my favorite spot is on the lawns in front of the Old College. My freshman year, I spent a ton of time just sitting on the benches and reading or doing homework. It’s beautiful in the spring and the fall, and I love to people watch there!

#ProfilesOfTenacity: Kendal Hill

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study? 

I chose Grady because of my passion for creativity. I entered UGA as an Intended Marketing student, but felt like I was missing out on expressing my creativity. I spoke to my advisor at the time, and she mentioned looking into Advertising. Three days later, I changed my major. I like to describe advertising as “creative marketing,” and I feel I’ve been able to blend all my interests into this one course of study.  

What is your most memorable Grady experience? 

Being a part of Women in Media’s Underclassman Council my freshman year. This opportunity immersed me in the greatness of Grady, as I got to meet so many incredible Grady girls. Being a part of Grady has given me a chance to meet incredible individuals, including students, faculty and advisors. It makes me so honored to be a part of this community. 

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you? 

Tenacity means persistence. Being tenacious means being determined, even in the most challenging of times. College has a way of bringing the tenacity out of us all. 

What is your favorite app or social media channel and why? 

My favorite app is TikTok. I’ve spent hours upon hours curating an elite FYP (for you page). It’s my go-to when I want to wind down and relax. 

What would people be surprised to know about you? 

I’m a commuter student and don’t live on campus. I commute about 5 hours a week for classes. It has been an adjustment, but I love living the blended life. I enjoy being able to see my family, see my friends and save money along the way, although I do miss visiting Insomnia Cookies on late nights. 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor, mentor or family member? 

“Continue being great because you are deserving of your flowers and so much more.” A bad habit of mine is that I tend to not give myself enough credit for the things I accomplish. I struggle with imposter syndrome, and often feel like I’m not enough. My best friend is always reminding me that I am successful and that she believes in me. She wrote this piece of advice in a card, and I read it every day. Some advice I have for others who struggle with this is to write down your wins, and look back at them when you feel out of place. You are important and worthy of recognition! 

What are you planning to do after graduation? 

I plan to enter the event management or project management industry. I really enjoy planning and organizing — two characteristics both industries rely on. I have begun applying to internships and entry-level roles in the Atlanta area. 

Where is your favorite place on campus and why? 

My favorite place on campus is the terrace outside of the MLC. It’s always so pretty and serene there. I especially love to sit out there during the fall season.   

Who is your professional hero? 

My professional hero is Maria Taylor, Grady alumna and sports broadcaster for NBC. Her story, poise and charisma are admirable qualities. I had the amazing opportunity to meet and speak with her during my time volunteering for UGA’s Spring 2021 Commencement. 

What has been your proudest moment in the past year? 

My proudest moment was being awarded a Grady scholarship for the fall 2021 semester. This scholarship was a tremendous help, as I did not have to pay any money out of pocket for my last semester at UGA. This moment made me reflect on myself and my accomplishments, and I felt so proud of myself. 

#ProfilesOfTenacity: Nick Milavec

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study? 

I knew Grady was an amazing school and I wanted to study mass communications. I came in as a Journalism major but switched to Advertising because I was fascinated how my love of art and creating art could intertwine with mass communication into one major. 

What or who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA? 

My mom has 100% had the biggest impact on my life during my time at UGA. She is constantly encouraging me in every endeavor, whether it be a challenge I’m going through or a great thing that happens to me. Her support is unwavering, and I am so grateful for her. She is the true definition of tenacity, and I am proud that I got to learn that from her. 

Who is your professional hero? 

I wouldn’t say I have a specific professional hero. However, the reason I fell in love with the field of advertising and typography was the work of Neville Brody. His posters were what inspired me to fuse my love of art and design with Mass Communication. 

What would people be surprised to know about you? 

I never actually toured UGA. I grew up a Georgia Tech fan, and it was my dream to go there. However, once I came to UGA’s campus for a drum major camp my junior year of high school, it just felt like home to me, and I knew it was where I wanted to be. It felt like I didn’t even need to tour because I was so certain. 

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you? 

The word “tenacity” to me means being adaptable. With the immense changes that have seemingly persisted over the last few years, everyone has had to adapt to something new or a new way of doing things. However, tenacity means embracing the need to adapt and trying to do it to the best of your ability in a determined and hardworking fashion. Rather than lamenting on the way of life you had before the need to adapt, tenacity to me means running headfirst into that new way of life and making it as best as possible. 

Where is your favorite place on campus and why? 

I absolutely love Bolton Dining Commons. I know it might be an odd place to love, but it is just such a good place for community to thrive and an environment that welcomed me as a freshman. Plus, they make some pretty good food. I keep buying a meal plan year after year because it is somewhere where I can experience a lot of different activities, such as grabbing a quick bite on my way to my car, or finding a table to study at or eating a meal with my friends. At Bolton, you can do it all. 

What are you passionate about? 

I am passionate about loving others and making them feel welcome. If I can make just one person feel at home or accepted on this campus, then that is a successful college career in my book. I believe that God calls us to love others with an unconditional love, and that is what I try to model at all times. 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor/mentor/family member? 

The best piece of advice I have ever received is from my mom. It is a spin on the traditional golden rule, which states “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” However, my mother used to say, “If you don’t have something nice to say, say something nice anyways.” That is how I try and live my life. Everyone has things about them that deserve to be loved and appreciated, and I believe that in those moments where we could just turn away and say nothing, we should look for those things and respond with kindness and love, because you never know just how much a kind word can do a person’s life. 

What is your favorite app or social media channel and why? 

I would have to say my favorite social media channel/app is Instagram. I love the broad range of content you can encounter on the app. I am someone who is passionate about design and photography, so it is so cool to be able to follow accounts that post content and work relating to those while also being able to keep up with my friends and peers and what they are up to, whether they are in Athens or around the world. 

What has been your proudest moment in the past year? 

My proudest moment in the last year was uploading my last pictures to our website after my 8-week-long job as the camp photographer at YMCA Camp High Harbour. I came into the job never having been to camp before and not knowing that the job I was going to do would be so non-stop and taxing. However, when I uploaded the 9,856th and last photo of the summer, I was proud of how I adapted to an environment that was new for me and successfully completed a job that challenged me like no other I’ve ever done. 

Hispanic Heritage Month Alumni Spotlight: Orlando Pimentel (ABJ ’17)

Editor’s Note: This is one in a series of spotlights highlighting the work of some of our alumni in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Please watch for more profiles in the weeks to come.

Orlando Pimentel is a senior solutions associate at Heart+Mind strategies. Previously, he worked at Porter Novelli and Hart Research Associates. On campus, Pimentel was involved with Talking Dog, Leadership UGA and the Catholic Center. He participated in The Creative Circus summer program in 2015.

What classes at Grady College did the most to prepare you for your career?

I remember taking a different variety of classes, I think more on the account side. Every class had its own piece to kind of help me out. This field is so diverse and so varied. At different stages of my career, I’ve had to draw from different points. At one point I was an intern at Porter Novelli for the account team, so I had to think more about the account classes. And then before that I was a creative intern, so I had to think of my creative courses. Then ultimately I made the switch to market research in the bulk of my career, and that’s where I really draw on those market research, media planning and statistical-oriented classes. So they all had their importance at different points.

How has your field of study changed since you were a Grady student?

It’s definitely been a big shift. When I got to apply to Grady, I knew I wanted to study advertising, but I didn’t have a focus. After taking some time to try things out, I realized I wanted to do a Creative Advertising route. That was my big thing in my junior and senior year at Grady. I had ambitions to become a designer and an art director. And then after I graduated, I got a creative internship, but it just didn’t pan out like I thought it would. The actual work wasn’t as fulfilling as I thought. My ambition the entire time was to be able to help organizations, individuals and companies tell their story. I thought creative would be that, but I didn’t really feel that connection. I was really removed from that and I didn’t really feel like it was for me, executing other people’s ideas. So I switched over to account and then market research. Ultimately market research won. It’s the synthesis in communications before ideas, everything is kind of based on the data, the idea. It felt closer to that goal of helping people tell their story, being a visionary. It keeps me active and stimulated to be able to be on a different topic every other month, and I thrive on a changing landscape.

How does your Hispanic and/or Latin heritage influence your work? 

It’s interesting because we know that the Hispanic/Latino population in the United States is one of the biggest minority groups at this point. It’s very present now in media and music and more well known industries. But despite that, my observation is the office space or the workspace sometimes doesn’t always reflect that. There’s just not a common place for us to be in this communications or media space. These are the people in charge of reaching out to these demographics, reaching out to the population, whether they be white, Black, Hispanic, Asian American, but the workspace itself doesn’t always reflect that.

There have been a couple of times where I’ve had to kind of speak up a little bit and give my two cents. Like, I can’t speak on behalf of everybody, but it’s important to kind of give your two cents sometimes when you’re going to reach out to a certain demographic. And also consider how things are being represented, how the story is told. I’ve had to remind myself that I can’t put too much pressure on myself either, but I can just reach out to other Latinos in this space with similar backgrounds and share ideas and kind of support one another.

What advice would you give to young students of Hispanic origin who will soon enter the workforce?

I think it’s important to push yourself into spaces you may not be as familiar with and really try to take advantage of the resources available to you. Do not let your lack of knowledge of industries, of work, disqualify you. It’s challenging, it was for me, there’s not a lot of Latinos or Hispanics in the communications or media space. The route to pursue a career, it’s not quite as firm or clear as our parents. I think when our parents immigrated here, the idea of becoming either a laborer, or a blue collar worker, or the more common white collar career of a doctor or a lawyer, those are very clear and more easy to understand. I know for myself, I had no idea about the space, I can’t talk to my parents about wanting to become a creative advertiser. Don’t let that intimidate or discourage you if it’s something you want to pursue. Just lean into and ask a lot of questions. Even just admitting it, too, that’s what I did a lot. I don’t have a lot of background or connections in the space, but what can you tell me, what would you recommend, and then kind of piecing it together from there.

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

It definitely had more to play when I was younger. I grew up in rural Georgia very isolated from a lot of the conversations and opportunities that somebody may get if they’re in an urban environment. Being in D.C. the last couple years I realized that Hispanic and Latino communities have a big network, have a lot of outreach and support from different people and organizations, but that’s not the same in a rural area; everybody’s in the same space, but just because you’re in the same space doesn’t mean you’re going to be on the same playing field. So in my case, rural Georgia, very far from a lot of awareness of how to figure myself out and how to support myself as a Latino. I remember watching a lot of TV, reading a lot of books. For me, Hispanic media was seeing other people with similar backgrounds thrive and succeed here in the United States and really have pride for those who have similar stories and culture, whether it be language we speak, the things we watch, the food we eat. It helped me think there’s more to life than just being here in rural Georgia. 

We watched the news and TV and saw places as grandiose as New York City or Los Angeles, or even Atlanta. And I remember just thinking, those are really faraway places, how could I ever reach them, what does it take to do things to be in that space? Like watching all these successful Latino figures and Hispanic individuals make their way through life and being highlighted just helped me get a sense of confidence in myself, and I think that was very important for me and for a lot of others. When you see somebody in similar shoes in spaces that you want to be it gives you permission and the boost that you need to think, oh, I can do that, if they can.

Grady InternViews: Nhilynn Nguyen

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities. Graphic explains Nguyen is an advertising major working as a Social Strategy Intern for dentsu X remotely from Athens, GA

Every morning I wake up at 8:30 a.m. and get ready for my morning meeting with the rest of the team. This recurring meeting is to go over all clients, priorities and updates. Every day varies, but most of it is managing social media, collecting and analyzing data and providing insights to clients. Facebook Ad Manager has definitely become my best friend! After work, I have team project meetings and labs for my fellowship to attend. During these labs, we’re able to hear from companies and agencies directly on how they’re working to improve diversity and inclusion internally and learn more about those efforts.

My internship is fully remote! It’s been more challenging to network and get to know the rest of my team, but everyone has been really kind and has reached out to connect with me! 

Explain your opportunity with MAIP. 

The Multicultural Advertising Internship Program is a selective program for multicultural students in Advertising. Once MAIP fellows are selected they begin cultivating tangible, transferable skill-sets through Spring Training, a 12-week virtual series; connecting with their MAIP mentors and collaborating with cross-national teams on a project brief. Throughout the summer, fellows participate in agency-sponsored professional development workshops and seminars, which provide a deeper dive into the various advertising and media disciplines. 

As a MAIP Fellow, we are also selected by one of the partnering companies and agencies for an internship! So I am currently interning for dentsu X as a Social Strategy Intern under the Paid Social team. This internship is remote, so I have been working from Athens!

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced so far would definitely be imposter syndrome. As a newcomer and minority, it’s easy to feel underqualified and undeserving of the opportunities you receive but throughout this summer I’ve learned how to gain more confidence and feel more secure about my abilities. I’m thankful to the 4a’s foundation and the rest of my MAIP fellows for providing a space and community where I can be candid and honest about these feelings! 

What has been the biggest growth you’ve experienced so far?

My biggest growth over the summer has been gaining more confidence in my skillset and abilities. I’ve learned so much about paid social and I’ve learned how to do things more confidently!  Walking into this internship I felt very underprepared and anxious but as the weeks went on and I learned more about paid social, I’m able to complete tasks without hesitation! 

What is your advice for other students looking to take on a similar role?

The best advice I’ve heard so far is “the other side of adversity is an opportunity,” from the Chief Equity Officer for dentsu Americas, Christina Pyle. This has resonated with me after battling a year of Zoom university and the aftermath of quarantine. It can be really difficult to stay motivated when life keeps challenging you, but in the long run, opportunities will find you!

Alumni Who Podcast: Emily Noles

Editor’s note: This is an example of many different podcasts our alumni produce. Visit our Alumni Who Podcast Pinterest page for a full list.

Emily Noles is the UGA grad behind Clementine Creative Agency’s Peel Good. This bi-monthly podcast discusses “all the juicy

A graphic with blue overlay on top of a desk with audio waves and text that reads "Peel Good A Marketing Podcast"
Peel Good discusses what is going on in the marketing field in the bbi-monthly episodes. (Graphic: submitted)

 marketing of yesterday, today and tomorrow brought to you by skilled experts in different fields coming together to share their opinions and knowledge on creative marketing trends,” according to the website.

Emily graduated from UGA with a degree in advertising in 2018. While at Grady, she earned a New Media Certificate. Her NMI Capstone class served as her introduction into the audio world as she created an app for WUOG 90.5fm, the student-run alternative radio station at UGA. 

“The New Media Institute definitely helped to build this type of avenue for me to be familiar to a standpoint even though I’ve never worked in podcast before,” she said.

Emily is not only the client account manager at Clementine, but she’s also the person who dreamed up, hosts and produces Peel Good. After presenting the idea for a podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcast in addition to YouTube, her and her teammates ran with the idea. She says that her company gave them the opportunity to explore the medium and build it from the ground up while they learned everything from filming and editing to distributing content to podcasting platforms.

The podcast began in January 2020, right before the pandemic hit. As the entire world switched from in-person to remote, Clementine transitioned the podcast to virtual operations as Emily and her team worked and filmed from home. Clementine just recently launched the second season of Peel Good in January of this year. While beginning a podcast at the start of a pandemic was a challenge, Emily says she learned lots through the first season.

“Season one was definitely getting our legs under us when it comes to podcasting because it’s not something we had done before,” she said. “It was kind of learn-as-you-go and really recognizing what was sitting well with the audience and what the audience was looking for so that we can continue to explore that interest.”

Noles talking into the microphone with a ring light shining on her while filming a podcast episode
Noles says she has learned a lot about how to podcast through Peel Good, which is a valuable skill when it comes to her industry. (Photo: submitted)

Emily said the marketing-specific podcast is “very niche to some people,” but that audience is where Peel Good’s focus lies. She says that this audience responded positively to the podcast’s formatting and flow.

“For [the listeners], they thought it was very informative but also very fun, so it’s not just kind of, you know, talking and sounding more like a lecture but more like a conversation between marketing professionals,” Emily said. “And so we took that feedback there and really amplified it and elevated it in season two.”

Throughout the process, Emily said the biggest lesson has been to lean into the audio medium. While the podcast is available to watch on YouTube, she says its primary goal is to serve listeners first — a balance that was hard to grasp at first. 

“I think the biggest lesson there is that while we are posting to YouTube, it doesn’t necessarily mean we have to have a visual that is so professionally cleaned up and put-together that it comes across more news anchor and presentation-like then like a conversational podcast, right? That’s the big difference we saw from season one to season two,” she said. “We kind of took a step back and realized we’re putting more focus on a visual standpoint than the audio, but podcasting is more known for its audio.”

Not only has Peel Good enabled Emily and her team to develop a new set of skills in terms of creating and maintaining a podcast, but she says it has also allowed them to grow professionally as it relates to marketing. When the team selects a topic to discuss on the show, Emily says they want to ensure they’re knowledgeable about how it relates to the industry. This entails extensive pre-show research that allows them to see what trends are appearing and “what are people talking about now that would be relevant to speak on in the podcast.”

“Everything we do is reflected in our work as well, so we take the inspiration and the research pooled that we talked about in the podcast and actually use it within our services and in our work,” she said. 

Looking to the future, Emily hopes to see the podcast expand and continue to grow in its success. Her idea of what this may look like includes garnering sponsors to take the series to the next level. Currently, the podcast does not have an allotted budget. With sponsorship, however, Peel Good would be able to further grow and reach more people. 

When it comes to other students looking to enter the podcasting world, Emily offers valuable advice. For her, the biggest lesson has been to allow mistakes to happen and use them to an advantage.

Noles sitting alongside her coworkers at a long table with microphones and laptops in front of them
Noles alongside co-founders of Clementine Creative Agency and UGA alumni Jennifer Nilsson and Merissa Davis. (Photo: submitted)

“I’m a person who thinks three steps ahead, but even sometimes because it’s not something I’ve done before, there’s going to be mishaps, there’s going to be steps that were missed, there’s going to be balls dropped, but not allowing yourself to be taking it so seriously that you feel like you need to step away from it altogether,” she said. “You just need to adjust with the problems that are faced and then learn from those so that you can better prepare for the next episode or next season and really apply what you’ve learned there.”

As she said, everyone can make a podcast look easy but there is more going on behind the scenes than meets the eye to an average listener. She says that while it may look seamless to create, edit, host and produce a podcast, there is a lot of work that goes into it and a lot of room for error. While mistakes are inevitable, Emily says it’s important not to let them be too discouraging.Listen to Emily’s podcast on YouTube, Spotify or Apple Podcast.